I remember the day I got my first pony was one of the happiest of my life. But then the sudden realisation hit me. I am completely responsible for this creature and I suddenly felt like I had no idea what I was doing! Don’t worry things fell into place pretty quickly but I learnt a lot of things along the way. Here are my top tips for new owners…
1) Never be afraid to ask for help.
I remember needing a lot of help when I got my first pony. I had just bought Cassie and she was very bad tempered. At first I had trouble with everything, I remember that she wouldn’t even let me pick out her feet at first but gradually after getting some reassurance from my friends and help from my instructors we quickly began to trust each other. I felt silly asking for help for such silly little things but sometimes you just need to.
2) Make sure you have a sense of humour.
You are going to need it! With horses things don’t always go the way you expect. You can plan all you want but something always seems to come up. It could be equipmemt breaking, lameness, bad weather or loosing a shoe, but you know what sometimes you just need to laugh or you might end up crying instead!
3) Find good professionals that suit you and are nice to your horse.
Following on from the last point. When I owned my thoroughbred Stanley he lost his shoes constantly and was never sound when I planned to compete. So for me my farrier had to be someone that I trusted and could rely on as I saw him a lot. I had tried many different farriers before I found the ‘one’. Some weren’t reliable and didn’t turn up when they said they would, which I could not tolerate, another was too aggressive and I didn’t like the way he treated my horse, another was really expensive. It took a while but I found a guy I could trust and he was nice to my horse. As it is so important that you trust the people that help you look after your horse.
4) Have a contingency fund.
You really can’t have enough money when you have a horse! But seriously it is really important to create a realistic budget to stick to and then if you can have some spare money just incase things don’t go to plan. Because as we have already discussed they rarely do.
5) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
It takes quite a while for you and your new horse to bond and don’t under estimate that. Don’t put too pressure on yourself or your horse to perform perfectly straight away. Give yourself some time to get to know each other. When I bought Stanley it took him months to settle in at our yard. I wanted to get out and compete on him straight away but as I didn’t know him we struggled to do things I thought should be easy (like calmly canter around a showjumping course). In hindsight it would have been easier for me to take things a bit slower and let him settle in before asking him to compete straight away.
6) Remember all of this is meant to be fun!
Haha! After the meticulous planning, budget making and bonding that you have to do when your new fur baby arrives remember we all do this for fun! Try to relax and enjoy it!
Don’t forget to check out our Equestrian Blogtober blog hop for more cool equestrian blogs. Go to https://www.timidrider.com/get-ready-for-equestrian-blogtober/